Help at Last

July 14, 2010


Novartis Oncology helps cancer patients have long-term access to life-extending therapies through its Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP), one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching cancer patient access programs ever implemented on a global scale.

Since its introduction in 2002, GIPAP has provided the breakthrough treatment Glivec (imatinib) at cost to more than 35,000 cancer patients in more than 80 countries. Glivec is a proven-effective treatment for Philadelphia positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). GIPAP and the Novartis Oncology Program (NOA) have helped provide Glivec to over 1,400 socially disadvantaged Filipino cancer patients.

From 2006 to 2008 alone, benefits provided by the NOA program to Filipino patients are valued at over P2 billion. This innovative program is being implemented in more than 65 participating centers across the archipelago. Today, GIPAP has evolved into the broader NOA program which continues to serve Filipino patients already enrolled in GIPAP and an additional 120-plus more nationwide.

Another life-saving treatment developed by Novartis Oncology is Exjade (deferasirox). Exjade is used for the treatment of chronic iron overload due to frequent blood transfusions in patients aged six and older with beta thalassemia major. This is an inherited blood disorder that causes severe anemia and bone deformities. Untreated, it can lead to death before the age of 20.

Novartis is exploring ways to increase Filipino patients’ access to thalassemia treatments.

Medicine comes before politics as PA medical professionals come to Rambam to learn

November 18, 2009

Courtesy by:

Thirty physicians, nurses and graduate nursing students from the West Bank visited Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center this week for a day-long seminar on cancer treatment. The Palestinian health professionals – from Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin, Hebron and other West Bank cities – came to learn about new techniques for treating children’s oncological diseases.

Prof. Miriam Ben-Arush, head of oncological hematology at the medical center’s Meyer Children’s Hospital, noted that medical care for sick children in Palestinian Authority hospitals is at a considerably lower level than in Israel. “For this reason, the connection between medical centers in Israel and the PA is important,” she said, adding that “we must offer them the medical tools and enrich them with knowledge they can apply in hospitals there.”

The delegation attended lectures on pediatric cancer treatments, thalassemia and other genetic diseases more prevalent among Arabs, bone marrow transplants for children, supportive treatment and psychological perspectives on coping with pediatric cancer.

Yazed Falah, who oversees the coordination between the PA and Rambam, said that the seminar was part of an ongoing program. “We initiate activities and seminars like this all the time because we are obligated, on a human level, to help sick people regardless of politics.”

Dr. Sumia Saij, an instructor at Al-Kuds University in Tubas, described the sad reality in many PA hospitals. “In many cases, we don’t have the qualifications, the budget or the tools to give medical care to patients who arrive at the hospital. Seminars like this allow us to return to our hospitals with the knowledge we have received here. This helps reduce the gap between hospitals in the PA and the more advanced facilities in Israel.”

PA patients arrive every day for care at Rambam, and many come on a permanent basis for ongoing treatments. Among them are some 50 children who arrive every week with permits from the security authorities to get oncological and hematological treatments.

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